The AIF Project

John Robert CAMERON

Regimental number316
Place of birthGore, New Zealand
SchoolCambridge High School, New Zealand
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressYolla PO, Yolla, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation33
Height5' 9.75"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Cameron, Auckland, New Zealand
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date26 August 1914
Place of enlistmentPontville, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Hobart, Tasmania, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'Followed up alluvial, quartz, osemeridium & all mineral mining from 12 years of age. No other interests. Worked in all States & NZ.' (details from mother)
FateKilled in Action 25 April 1915
Age at death39
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 35), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
65
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Samuel and Agnes, 3 Millias Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 2 March 1915.

Reported missing in action, 25-28 April 1915.

Court of Enquiy, 5 June 1916, subsequently confirmed killed in action, 25 April 1915.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Statement, Red Cross File No 0680101G, 3357 Pte T.T. SMITH, A Company, 12th Bn, 29 September 1916: 'Jack Cameron was killed at the Peninsula. Pte. Edgar Nicholls No 1 Pl. A. Co. told me he saw him killed. He gave me this information four or five months ago. He is still with the Battalion. Cameron came from Tasmania, I do not know which part.'

Mr J.R. Cameron, Otahuhu, Auckland, wrote to the Salvation Army, 2 January 1922, after 'Missing Friends' Column in the 'War Cry' published a note about a 'J.R. Cameron in the AIF, nearest relative, Gore, New Zealand': About 1898 (23 years ago) my brother, William Ernest Cameron, left N.Z. and at long intervals we had short notes or a newspaper from him from different places in Queensland, N.S.W. & Tasmania. The last time we heard from him was in April 1912. At that time he wrote that he was settled down & had taken up land about 28 miles from Waratah, three years before. It was Crown land settlement, 148 acres all heavy bush and he had taken it up in my name John Robert Cameron. He did not say why but mentioned that there was no need to send 10 pages of advice. If I objected to write him in that name, I need not write at all as he was known as J.R. Cameron there. Nevertheless I wrote willingly and prompt as he wished and received his reply in April, 1912, since when I have heard nothing whatever about him. At that time he was fossicking for iridium and gold on the Savage river and others near there, in certain seasons, and working his selection at other times. I have been thinking that he may have enlisted in that name [J.R. Cameron]. He was born in Gore N.Z, 45 years ago, but has no relations there now. I hardly think he is the man referred to but I would dearly like to hear some news of him. My letters always come back marked unknown, but I have a feeling he is somewhere handy and will turn up sooner of later.'

Miss Ada Hodgetts, Goldie Street, Wynyard, Tasmania, made a statutory declaration, 25 August 1920, that she had no knowledge of the address of Cameron's Mother, and further declared that 'I have a strong claim to the War Medals of the said late No 316 J.R. Cameron by reason the fact that I was very friendly with him and expected to marry him. Although there was no formal engagement we thoroughly understood each other.' Base Records traced the Mother, and she was awarded the War Medals.
Miscellaneous detailsTrue name: William Ernest CAMERON
SourcesNAA: B2455, CAMERON John Robert
Red Cross File No 0680101G

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